Congress has no shortage of clueless buffoonery, but it
seems that there are a few of its characters that can always be counted on to
deliver in that regard.
Hank Johnson, Jr. worrying that the island
nation of Guam might become too heavy and “capsize” comes to mind. As does Lindsey Graham asking Facebook exec Mark Zuckerberg, “Is Twitter the same as what you do?” And who can forget Sheila Jackson Lee pontificating about how, “today we have two Vietnams, side by side?” Recently, of course, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
has been stealing the congressional comedian limelight as she grills bank CEOs over “financing” the “caging of children.”
But when it comes to being captain of the clown show, all her
rivals should bow before the greatness that is Representative Maxine Waters. Two days ago she demonstrated why.
As Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee,
Waters had orchestrated the perfect set up for herself: haul in a panel of
seven CEOs of the country’s largest banks to testify in front of her committee
where she could grill them unmercifully about the crushing student loan debt
they inflict upon college kids just trying to better themselves.
After stumbling through a series of statistics highlighting both
the debts and the defaults on student loans in recent years, Waters was ready
for her one, shining moment. She rolled
her eyes back in her head, bared her teeth, lunged for the jugulars of the fat
cats…and totally whiffed:
“What are you guys doing to help us with this student loan debt? Who would like to answer first? Mr. Monahan, big bank.” Bank of America chairman and CEO Brian Monahan replied, “We stopped making student loans in 2007 or so.” Ms. Waters replied, “Oh, so you don’t do it anymore. Mr. Corbat?” Said Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat: “We exited student lending in 2009.” She then turned to James Dimon, JPMorgan Chase chairman and CEO, who explained, “When the government took over student lending in 2010 or so, we stopped doing all student lending.”
Republican or Democrat, pause and consider what a pathetic
commentary it is on our political and electoral systems that the woman who chairs
the Finance Committee – the one that regulates banks (among other things) –
didn’t even realize that the federal government took over the student loan
program in 2009.
Look, a lot of people are bad at their jobs. But most just don’t have the opportunity to
put it on full display to the world like Maxine does. And again – she never disappoints.